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tv   America Live  FOX News  March 20, 2013 10:00am-12:00pm PDT

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>> it was a great tip about flying and where to sit on the plane if you're nervous. share it with our viewers. >> sit near the wings, the strongest part of the airplane and less turbulence there. >> i could use that. it's helpful. thank you for joining us, everybody. >> "america live" starts right now. >> megyn: fox news alert. just one hour before president obama and prime minister benjamin netanyahu hold a historic news conference in jerusalem. there are lots of conflicting reports today about a possible chemical weapons attack in syria and we are told that will be one of the top issues that we'll hear about right here in the next 50 minutes. and welcome to "america live," i'm megyn kelly. right now, president obama and the israeli prime minister are meeting behind closed doors. we expect to hear them both within the hour. the president's trip comes at a dangerous time for the jewish state and the entire region. to israel's west, questions about the muslim brotherhood
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and political stability in egypt. and to the east, syria, in the grips of an allout civil war and just 24 hours ago we received reports that chemical weapons may have been used against one side or the other. and of course, there is the constant threat from iran which president obama himself warned could be less than a f having a nuclear weapon. so as we await this historical-making news conference we want to check in with our own leland vittert live with the headlines from israel and syria. >> reporter: megyn, the israelis think may have been used in syria yesterday. but understand that here chemical weapons have a different meaning than the united states. in u.s. you're talking vx gas, sarin gas. and weapons of mass destruction. and the proof of some type of chemical attacks by the
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rebels, seem to show if anything a chlorine gas attack or some type of missile or weapon ended up in a chlorine tank and spread the noxious gas. we're not seeing the kind of effects of a mass destruction chemical weapon that would have been used. and the white house is saying they have no evidence of a chemical attack. and there's something certainly that prime minister netanyahu and the president will talk about. and prime minister netanyahu has been talking about a chemical weapon, but on the tarmac all smile. you might call this the hug and makeup tour for two leaders who had a frosty, even frigid relationship. at one point took off their coats and walked around the tarmac in town. and netanyahu went out of his way to thank president obama and america for its hope and support. at one point trying to be cordial and friendly.
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president obama was taking a lot of criticism for not being hawkish enough in iran, especially in israel, trying to make it clear that the united states and israel stand together. >> the united states of america stands with the state of israel because it is in our fundamental national security interests to stand with israel. it makes us both stronger. it makes us both more prosperous. and it makes the world a better place. >> reporter: and this has been a lot about imagery on this trip. one of the images today was president obama and prime minister netanyahu touring the iron dome missile defense system as pointed to by president obama to show his support to israel. 300 million went to fund this, an improvement in the last gaza war and president obama points to that as his support for israel. he has a battle selling himself in israel, only 10% of
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israelis say they like president obama and he's going direct for a hard sell, megyn, when he goes before a national television audience and talking to students and why he is in favor of israel and going forward, how he hopes to help the jewish state in a second term. >> megyn: thank you. and in honor to president obama's visit to jerusalem, the israeli embassy in washington releases an unusual animated video featuring the two leaders and a classic song from the 1980's sit com. watch this. >> the bonds between the united states and israel are unbreakable and the commitment of the united states to the security of israel is ironclad. ♪ thank you for being a friend ♪ ♪ travel down the road and back again ♪
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♪ your heart is true, you're-- thank you for being a friend ♪ >> yes, we love them, we watched them, "the golden girls" and apparently the israeli embassy did too. an embassy spokesman told "the washington post" that the response to the video was phenomenal and meant to say that the relationship between our two countries is strong. it was a great, classic show. be sure to stick with fox news for complete coverage of the president's trip to israel. again, there's going to be significant news in the the next hour as these two leaders are meeting right now. the white house is saying that they see this as a possible reset of relations between these two men and our two countries and yet, here at home and actually in israel, folks have their doubts. so we'll see how they describe
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their meeting and we'll have full reaction here coming up. well, back home we're seeing new suggestions that president obama's second term honeymoon may already be over. a new poll shows half the country disapproves of the job that the president is doing, even as he continued his so-called charm offensive reaching out to republicans last week. it has apparently not stopped his slide in the polls which many believe led to the charm offensive to begin with and in fact, his poll numbers are getting more negative. here are some of the headlines in the last week or so. obama's approval drops as americans take a dimmer view of his economic policy. quote, after overhyping sequester, obama poll numbers stick. in recent days we read, obama's approval rate cratered in the past two months. and obama honeymoon may be over. and chris stirewalt editor of
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power play on live. the honeymoon is apparently over if the mainstream media declares it's so, it's so, i guess. here is the deal, they were going down, the fox news polls, the gallup news poll showed the president's numbers going down and then came the charm offensive, met with the republicans and paul ryan and had the dinner and there was the wine and merlot and okay, look, i'm trying. and now we get the latest poll out and shows he's still 47% approval rating, 47% disapprove, which is down consistently from where it had been just a few weeks ago. >> well, maybe the israeli embassy is on to something there and he could get like sophia, blanch, get the girls together. >> megyn: well done. >> do like a charm-- i know, i'm hip, i'm down, circa 1989. no he, t no, the situation for the president, second term irony and the president made it more
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difficult for him to layout a bold agenda when you get started. you come in, make a bold agenda and try to blow up the republicans with the sequester and it doesn't work, oh, i'm losing altitude in my approval poll and not going to have as much weight to throw around and i'll turn into a lame duck. then the charm offensive, hey, i'm willing to eat with you, and talk to you and sit in the same room with you. and do that for a while and guess what, the base says this guy was lying to us, leading us on. he's not serious about a gun ban, not serious about global warming, not serious about the things. he's kanoodling with mitch mcconnell and why should we listen to him and then you get into a difficult cycle as you're he trying to prove that you're a sensible moderate in order to get people to listen to you again, your base starts to get upset with you. >> megyn: losing your base. >> so it goes. >> megyn: i want to ask you about the moderates, it's a stark number from cnn poll, showing that back in
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september, he had 61% approval with the moderates, and now it's 54%, so he slid 7% with the moderates, and he had just a 37% disapproval rating with them before and now it's 42%, and going in the opposite, going in the wrong direction, when it comes to his support for moderates and chris the biggest things that happened as of late have been this whole back and forth over the sequester and these budget cuts and so on. and then, the catastrophic warnings that we received. do you think that those are continuing to have an effect, even though the president and the white house has tried to turn the page? >> yeah, well, think about it this way. it's harder to unmake news than it is to make news. it was much easier for the president to use big stages, inaugural address, his state of the union, to layout a big, bold union and able to create quite a panic when we started talking about sequestration, and what was going to happen. reeling things in is a lot harder and resetting, turning the dial back from aggressive, liberal, bold agenda, these
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things, and pushing hard against republicans to, hey, i'm willing to eat with you, which one of those makes more news. and it's been tougher for him to try to reel this back in to the right point, without, as i said before, making his base think he's betraying them again. >> megyn: i want to show the approval polls of second term presidents. they all go down, way down, and then some of them rebounded, you know, by the end. here is reagan and we'll flip through a couple of them. i do want to ask you this, chris, some of the articles out today suggest that he is already a lame duck. the hill article says, much of the president's-- the president's agenda is stuck, talking about climate change, immigration reform, grand bargain budget deal, not to mention what we saw on gun control. is it already over for him in terms of getting major legislation through? >> if he cannot produce a budget, if this washington cannot produce a budget before the end of the september, none
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of that other stuff matters. let's just be very clear about that. his ability to have a vital phase of a second term, which is always a number of-- a limited number of days for any reelected president, his ability to not be a lame duck is consistent on a deal to have a budget for the next fiscal year. if he can't do that, nothing else matters. >> megyn: we are going to talk about what happened with gun control in a moment. chris, thank you. >> you bet. >> megyn: on that topic, the president got a standing ovation when he said at his state of the union address that the victims of gun violence in aurora, in newtown, connecticut and across america, quote, deserve a vote on gun control. now, just ahead, the controversy over why that vote will likely not include the assault weapons ban, so many democrats and others immediately supported. what a reversal. saudi arabia was home to nearly all, nearly all of the 9/11 hijackers, so why did
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measured america present special travel to the saudies that we don't give to israel. an update. and we'll follow harry reid as he makes remarks on the deaths of seven marines and now some say it was eight. we'll get to the bottom of that. while seeming to tie in the issue of those sequester spending budget changes. we'll take a closer look at mr. reid's remarks and debate the chalaims that he was using the dead marines for political advantage. >> seven dead marines, somebody's sons, somebody's fathers, somebody's brothers, seven dead marines, and this jerk goes to the senate floor and he has to talk about the sequester which had nothing to do with it. the man doesn't have a principled bone in his body, not one. then how'd i get this... [ voice of dennis ] driving bonus check? every six months without an accident, allstate sends a check. silence.
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are you in good hands? nlove. as americanswe believeold we can'tin freedom.pern we that's what i fought for as a marine, and that's what we believe in as republicans. freedom means freedom for everyone. i didn't use to understand the importance of same-sex marriage, but after learning my brother was gay i wanted the same rights for him. he was the best man at my wedding and i want to be the best man at his. it's only fair that calvin should have the freedom to marry the person he
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>> senate majority leader harry reid severely angering
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members of the marine corps and others after he appeared to link the deaths of eight marines during a training exercise this week to the sequester budget cutbacks for which he voted. he denies having made that link, but here is what he said on the senate floor yesterday. >> support the military and the families-- mr. president, it's very important we continue training our military, but one of the things in the sequester is cutback in training and maintenance. that's the way the sequester was written. >> megyn: joining us now with reaction is an iraq war veteran and ceo of concerned veterans for america. so, now, despite the fact that immediately after he addressed what happened yesterday when
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it was seven and now we're told eight marines died in nevada in a training exercise, despite the fact that he immediately mentioned the sequester, his office comes out and says the idea that senator reid think the hawthorne tragedy had anything to do with the sequester is absurd and unsubstantiated by his remarks, your thoughts. >> unsubstantiated by his remarks, they put out a statement because that's exactly what his remarks implied. they may say technically he was talking about future training. let's be clear, in one sense he talked about hawthorne and the marines and the next sentence he talked about sequester. regardless how it works, he was using that tragedy to try to political highlight the problems of sequestration and those marines were doing their job. i say to harry reid go do yours, so something like sequestration doesn't happen. >> megyn: i tell the audience there's no question that this
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training exercise had been planned well in advance. >> yeah. >> megyn: it had nothing to do with the budget changes because of the sequester, any attempt was misguided because there is no linkage which now his office acknowledges, but there's a question whether harry reid despite what he says through his spokesperson was out on a limb that upset, justifiably, many members of the military. one marine corps official saying to abc news, he considers this nothing, but pure political posturing on the backs of the dead marines. >> what else to say? i mean, that marine's got it dead on it is political posturing, and political posturing is nothing new around the military harry reid. and who declared pompously the war was lost while our surge troops were fighting the difficult fight and turning that war around. does he ever think about the
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implications of statements like that, implications on the perception that there are families of today, marines, who were lost yesterday? wondering why the senate majority leader is exploiting that for political gain? those are legitimate questions and again, we know the marines have trained this for a long time and harry reid understands that. it's optics, it's perception, political manipulation of words that are used to exploit tragedies and this isn't the first place we've seen that sequestration. >> megyn: well, and the president's political agenda arm, ofa, organizing for america campaign and now it's organizing for action, the folks that-- it's all of the former campaign officials vying together to get his agenda pushed. yesterday or at 10:30 in the morning sent out a tweet under the name: @barack obama, and run the twitter feed. and showing the first lady and barack obama, it wasn't real time, they sent it out three hours after the news hit the wires of the dead marines
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talking about snack time and there's a question about tone deafness, pete. this isn't the first time we've seen it, even the president personally, you know, after the benghazi debacle in which four people were killed, he headed to vegas and said we had a tough day. you yourself criticized michelle obama for standing at the oscars in front of marines that seemed to be used as props. you've seen a pattern here? >> there is a pattern. the at fort hood someone clearly motivated by radical islamic beliefs gun down the members of the military and they want to call it workplace violence. whatever it is, there's detachment from the reality of some of the threats we face in this world and ramifications in that. and three hours afterward and a photo from a month later. i don't think it's a big deal for a tweet, but again, it's indicative of a pattern, there are largers things at play and political maneuvering and
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let's not bother with the difficulties and the dirty work that is building the finest military in the the world and putting it in the field to execute properly. and you see it in afghanistan, there's a war, and we've got tens of thousands of troops and when is the last time you heard about that, you don't. >> megyn: and allen west came on our air last night and believes that harry reid needs to personally apologize for that and that if he was misinterpreted he should say it on camera, to the marines and the personnel. >> i concur with the good colonel. he knows better, he understands the optics and the perception. whether he meant it or not the perception is there and he should say this is nothing to do with sequestration. this is a tragic training accident and for those we lost. >> megyn: thank you. >> thanks, megyn. >> megyn: less than 45 minutes for a press conference between
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president obama and benjamin netanyahu. and now they're looking at the a big list of dangerous issues. stay with us. one company's popular yoga pants being pulled from the stores after a potential mistake that could lead to potential exposure, and why this is one of the big egest stories in the country.
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>> one of the deadliest plane crashes in history and one we've told you a few times here on "america live." more than 200 people were killed when an air france flight from brazil plummeted into the atlantic ocean in 2009 and the circumstances behind this crash are just terrifying. now, new reports just out say the pilot may have been sleep
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deprived. a flight recording apparently caught him saying he had just gotten an hour of sleep the night before. a tropical storm moved in while he was taking a scheduled in-flight nap and it took more than a minute for him to wake up and respond to his co-pilot's calls for help. it was an eerie, eerie setting, moments before that jet went down. there were no survivors. well, believe it or not, this issue of workout pants has somehow become a big deal in the last 48 hours as hundreds of thousands of popular yoga pants have been pulled from store shelves, oh, the horror. the company lululemon very popular, apparently found that the material used in the pants is revealing a little too much of its loyal customers, but it doesn't end there. oh, wait, is that a punch? trace gallagher. i occasionally wear the pants
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and especially now that i'm pregnant and the stretchy stuff and explains so much about the reaction i've gotten recently, tell us. >> reporter: let me tell you if you own a pair of these black yoga pants, before you dash out to yoga class, take a look. >> megyn: yeah, honey, you look great. >> reporter: get out the door. the report no only underwear lines, but the color of underwear and if you're not wearing underwear, you get the picture. customers began complaining and turning the pants to lululemon, now they've recalled all of them and this is the fourth different problem lululemon had in the past year with see-through clothing. the clothing is very expensive and customers getting kind of fed up and the stock is getting hammered, it was at $81 late last year and now it's down to 64. they lost 250 million dollars in one day. who says investor like transparency, right? lululemon has said now they
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also have some light-colored yoga pants on sale. they had disclaimer on them, quoting here, you may experience sheerness with some of our bright colored bottoms because of the light weight nature of the fabric. we recommend do you a couple of down dogs to be sure you're happy with the fit and coverage. to be sure you know, this is a downward dog. not really sure you want to be in yoga class with the person behind you notices that your yoga pants are a little too sheer. that's why they're saying, check them out before you rush off to yoga pants and lululemon is going through the list of manufacturers and making sure it doesn't happen again, and make sure it doesn't happen again before the downward dog. >> megyn: forget yoga class usually a fellow, and a bunch of women, but a lot of us wear the pants out in the world and
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try to find a shirt that covers your bottom and don't always succeed. >> reporter: the sunlight bright and the pants are sheer. >> megyn: we know how it goes. and for those who have been walking behind me, i point out again, i'm pregnant. it's not always like this. (laughter) all right. let's move on. oh, so anyway, just to recap, lululemon, somebody else's fault, somebody who may have manufactured the pants. moving only. the president got a standing ovation when he said that victims of gun violence deserved a vote on gun control. remember that at the state of union, he deserves a vote and may deserve a vote. now that vote will not include the assault weapons ban that has been championed by democrats. looking over the controversy of change and accusations that the president failed to lead. and outrage from 9/11 victims as we learned some from the country that produced most of the 9/11 hijackers are about
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to get special travel status at u.s. airports. why would we be granting this to them? we don't grant it to our friends in france or germany, but saudi arabia are going to get the free speedy pass at the airports now? and growing concerns that hard work is on its way out at american schools after one school decides not to honor its honor students. >> we knew there would be pushback, but again, that's the children that wewe believe the children after the research, celebrate at the school. hey. they're coming. yeah. british. later. sorry. ok...four words... scarecrow in the wind... a baboon... monkey? hot stew saturday!? ronny: hey jimmy, how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? jimmy: happier than paul revere with a cell phone. ronny: why not? anncr: get happy.
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>> developing here in "america live" we're awaiting an important news conference out of jerusalem this hour, from president obama and israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. it's set to begin about a half hour from right now. we're told that the president may be seek ago reset of relations between himself and his israeli counterpart, mr. netanyahu. no secret it hasn't been a very good relationship in the past four and a half years, since president obama took office. also on the table, the possibility that iran could have nuclear weapons by next winter. that's said to be the number one concern, plus reports of chemical weapons use in syria, that's number two on the agenda. we'll hear all about this in addition about the stability in egypt, a concern for israel and not to mention the peace
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process which has been solved and not much of a push on that problem. we'll see if any of that changes and addressed right here live in 30 minutes. >> gabby gifford deserves a vote. the families of newtown deserve a vote. the families of aurora deserve a vote. the families of oak creek in tucson and black spur, and the countless other communities by gun violence, they deserve a simple vote. they deserve -- they deserve a simple vote. >> megyn: that was president obama during the state of the union address saying communities torn apart by gun violence in this country deserve a vote on stricter gun control measures.
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but now we know that the vote on that part of the bill that includes an assault weapons ban will not take place. it's now going to be offered as an amendment, which basically means it's going to die. senate majority leader harry reid nixed the idea of including it in the main bill that he's going to send to the floor, explaining his decision this way. >> right now her amendment using the most optimistic numbers has less than 40 votes. that's not 60. i have to get something on the floor so we can have votes on that issue and the other issues that i've talked about. >> megyn: he's talking about dianne feinstein's assault weapons ban, which she wanted to be part of the main bill so it had a chance of passing. harry reid says it doesn't. now, dianne feinstein promises that the fight is not over and she claims that senator reid did tell her that this would be offered as an amendment on the senate floor, but-- >> it came out on 10-8 vote of
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the judiciary committee not to give me a vote would be a major betrayal of trust. >> megyn: joining me now to discuss that, monica crowley, she's a radio talk show host and kirsten powers, the daily beast,both are fox news contributors. and it's spin and hope that has no foundation in reality? i mean, do we all agree that her assault weapons ban for all intents and purposes is dead? offering it as a amendment, as an amendment does nothing. it will not pass. it had very little chance of passing as part of the main bill and now it's offered this way, zero chance. >> well, look, when the president did this as a state of the union, it was meant to shame the republicans. what was left unsaid was that ocrats weren't going to support it and you had harry reid say right there, he has less than 40 votes. that means a lot of democrats wouldn't vote for this. i said at the time of the state of the union, the
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president did this, was completely manipulative and it wasn't going anywhere and i think that the reality is that if it's something he really wanted why isn't he putting muscle behind it? why are they sort of throwing their hands up in the air, oh, well, we can't do anything about it after we were told repeatedly from democrats, various democrats, including the president, that you know, times have changed, you know, that things were different now. and most americans support this ban, by the way. about 57% support this ban so there is he' really no excuse for it. >> megyn: but there is a reason for it and the real reason, according to most of the folks analyzing this, monica, harry reid is trying to protect the ten or so democrats who are in red states, who are up for reelection in 2014 who don't want to have to vote on dianne feinstein's assault weapons ban. >> yes, that's exactly right. and we think about dianne feinstein's signature piece of legislation which was the original assault weapons ban passed in 1994 and that
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required a lot of arm twisting on the part of president bill clinton on members of his own part for exactly this reason, because there are a lot of democrats and in a lot of red states with very big gun cultures and significant opposition to gun control measures that clinton really had to work every bit of political capital he had to get that done in '94. barack obama has shown, even though they gave all of these remarks in the state of the union address and elsewhere, megyn, that he's just not willing to pick up that fight and die on this particular hill. harry reid looks at his caucus and says, look, i've got 55 democrats in my senate caucus here. i can't get 40 votes for this. i've got a number of very vulnerable democrats coming up in red states like alaska, arkansas, louisiana. >> megyn: north carolina. >> west virginia, north carolina, montana for example, i don't want them dying on this hill and i'm going to strip it out. have it voted on, they will vet a vote, and on an
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amendment and that means the death of the ban. >> megyn: even dianne feinstein said, i tried my best, my best wasn't good enough. everybody knows what it means. and as monica raises, a question of leadership. president clinton got the assault weapons ban passed with a lot of effort. he had to hustle on capitol hill to try to get people to vote for it. the n.r.a. was a factor back then as well. it's not just the n.r.a., but hundreds of millions of americans who have-- 100 million americans who have guns. and this is ron fournier, dispointed saying i don't have the words to describe the cowardess of congress and can't explain the impotencesy of president obama who vowed to use whatever power the office holds, but ultimately did not fight. >> monica is right with her analysis, political analysis was exactly right and saying that, now, he doesn't want these democrats to die on this hill. and the president doesn't want them to die on the hill.
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instead more americans with be shot and i don't have any patience for this cowardess is exactly what he's saying. and at least what you say is right. other people don't agree, i get that. i don't think it's right and the president doesn't think it rights, and it deserves a vote. >> megyn: the moving moment. state of the union. >> and then it's just sort of dies this quiet death? you know, where they're just going to let it go? you're exactly right. bill clinton forced people to walk off of planks and they didn't get reelected for certain things when it came to things that were really important to him. >> megyn: but look what president obama did when it came to obamacare. >> that's exactly right. and in the white house, begged him not to do obamacare and made her walk the plank and she didn't get reelected. that was a hill he was willing to die on and let members of his party die on. what's different this time the 94 assault weapons ban, we have ten years of evidence that the relative
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effectiveness of it and what it showed was that it had minimal to no effect in preventing these kinds of crimes so people are taking a look at this and saying, why should i vote for something that last time around was useless and ineffective and actually unnecessary infringement on the second amendment. >> megyn: do they really believe. are they believes that it would make a difference? show out one other thing, there is a theory among some that this was the plan all along. they knew this part would never get through and now, this allows those in the senate to look more reasonable when they cast a vote in favor of background checks and remainder of the legislation which pales in comparison to the assault weapons ban and whether it's got the votes as well. >> thank you. >> megyn: we've got breaking news out of california moving on the wires. we're going to get court verdict any second now we're told in the trial of six city officials from bell, california. we've covered this case quite a bit. you know the folks accused of stealing millions from the
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taxpayers and oh dthey line their own pockets, and the citizens of bell had no idea. also, saudi arabia which is home to nearly all, nearly all of the 9/11 hijackers. so why did the department of homeland security here in the husband just grant special travel privileges to the saudis, when we don't even give that to israel, to france, to germany? that's next. [ loud party sounds ] hi, i'm ensure clear... clear, huh? i'm not juice or fancy water. i've gotine grams of protein. that's three times more than me! [ female announcer ] ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat. in blueberry/pomegranate and peach. nine grams protein. zero fat. without going to angie's list first. you'll find reviews on home repair to healthcare written by people just like you. with angie's list, i know who to call, and i know the results will be fantastic. angie's list -- reviews you can trust.
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>> new outrage from the families of some 9/11 victims as the department of homeland security gives a special travel status to some folks from saudi arabia. the nation that produced 15 of the 19 hijackers who carried out the september 11th attacks. they are being offered a deal that's not even available to some of our closest allies, why? steve emmerson from investigation on terrorism. he's gotten to the bottom of it and now 9-11 families are
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getting wind of it and why are we doing this? essentially giving you the speedy pass at disney to skip the line and go right up to the front of the ride. we don't give it to germany, don't to france and just given it to israel and it haven't kicked in yet, but saudi arabia, go right ahead? >> it's not only bizarre, but disturbing. not all the details have been released to congress, but the bottom line when we saw the memo leaked to us about the details of it, called the global entry program and expedites visa applicants from saudi arabia to the united states to go to the head of the line without necessarily being vetted entirely by the united states. now, part of the vetting is being done by the minister of interior in saudi arabia and remember, that saudi arabia, some accusations have been made by former senators took part, the government itself took part in the 9/11 conspiracy and number two, they have the highest recidivism level of former
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gitmo detainees in the world. and those that return to saudi arabia become jihadists. why are we allowing the saudis to vet saudi applicants and jump to the head of the lines without going through customs and border patrol in the united states, is absolutely disturbing and bizarre and i think congress ought to hold hearings about this. >> we also do vetting. there's an issue about the saudi screening since our congressional research service describes them as a problematic ally in combatting islamic extremism and as you point out former florida senator bob graham, was co-chair with congressional inquiry coming out, i'm convinced there's a direct line between some of the 9/11 terrorists and the government of saudi arabia, we don't have that much faith in their screening when they tell us, this person can be fast-tracked and skip the line. we do our own screening here before we give them the special access pass.
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why shouldn't we feel okay about that? >> well, in fact, under the enhanced visa security program, that applies to saudi arabia after 9/11 and those countries that were considered to be major proponents of islamic terrorism, saudi arabia was not allowed to vet its own people. we vetted it. that is the united states government, dhs, homeland security, customs border patrol, cia, we did all the vetting. now, suddenly, we're sharing that vetting and we don't know all the details and you're right at that we will still have a role in the vetting. but what happens when a saudi applicant is passed by them, vetted by them, say they're okay and get a five year visa fast tracked into the united states and suddenly, new material develops that they're really hezbollah or hamas, do you think the saudies are going to tell us? >> here in the united states they must satisfy a security process including an interview with a customs agent. i mean, that sounds more
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rigorous than when you just pass through customs when you're arriving in the u.s. and going through customs, no? >> in coordination, however, with the minister of interior of saudi arabia. in other words, it's a joint vetting process and the details, as you correctly point out, are not exactly clear at this point. yes, you're right that the united states government still has vetting appropriations, jurisdiction, over these applicants. >> megyn: how thorough will it it be? we're short on time, but i want to ask you, why are we doing this? we don't do it for germany and france, why are we doing it for the saudies. >> i think it has to do with all and the fact that, you remember after al attempted attack, the underwear bomber three years ago, saudi arabia was on the list of secondary countries to be inspected. and they complained bitterly, and it was taken off in weeks, and i think it's politics and dangerous, i don't believe week trust their vetting and to the extent they're involved
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with that vetting we're putting our national security in danger. >> megyn: we've gone from saying the saudies need enhanced screening to saying they can get less screening if they're government and we determine it's fine. steve, thank you. keeping a close eye on jerusalem. president obama, israeli prime minister netanyahu coming out any moment. don't miss this. this is a news-making moment. and without a line. now that's a fast car. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. as well as they could because they don't take it with food. switch to citracal maximum plus d. it's the only calcium supplement that can be taken with or without food. my doctor recommends citracal maximum. it's all about absorption.
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>> fox news alert out of california and we are officially on verdict watch right now. a verdict is expected any moment in the case of those bell, california town officials accused of draining public funds for their personal gain. remember this? there were some heated town haul meetings from bell, california. this is not a wealthy town and the residents, once they got wind of what the mayor, the
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vice-mayor had been doing demanded answers. over six-figure salaries paying themselves for work prosecutors say they never did. they set up sham commissions according to the prosecution and paid themselves $100,000 a year for work they weren't doing. well, the jury's been deliberating for weeks. one juror was kicked off. they were at an impasse at one point and now we're told they've reached a decision and trace has it. >> reporter: you show the outrage there and we thought that the petition would come quickly. they've been deliberating since february 28th and cannot come out with a verdict. they've asked for several readbacks for the jury and as it comes in the next couple of minutes. you've got 20 different counts and these are called the bell six, this is the mayor and five city council members who were all accused of taking these elaborate salaries, upwards of $100,000. now, keep in mind this is one of two or three separate trials to be had on the bell
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case. remember the city manager, robert rizzo was paying himself upwards of a million dollars a year. his trial is separate. his assistant, angela, highly paid. her trial is also separate and this deals with just the city council, and very compelling testimony by a city clerk who said she used to pass the mayor these contracts, these slippery contracts, if you will, to have him sign them and now we are waiting to find out if all six of them tried together will go down together in the bell corruption case. when the verdict comes in, megyn, we'll bring it to you. >> megyn: fascinating. this is a town immersed in poverty and you've got the officials paying $100,000 extra a year for work that was only supposed to get $8,000 a year and we have to sit on the land waste commission and comes out in trial, it never met once, never had staff, you never talked about anything, why did you deserve the $100,000, somebody i told you
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i did. we'll wait until the jury who has been struggling for a verdict comes out. a growing debate over privacy. a home raided by cops, after the son had a picture holding a lawfully owned gun owned by the father. and we'll take you to not only to bell, but to jerusalem. it's the only calcium supplement that can be taken with or without food. my doctor recommends citracal maximum. it's all about absorption.
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>> fox news alert. we are moments away now from a joint news conference by president obama and israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. the president on his first official visit to israel as president, a trip expected to be all about iran's expanding nuclear program. but events over the past 24 hours have now put syria high on the agenda. brand new hour here of "america live." welcome everyone, i'm megyn kelly. less than 24 hours before president obama arrived in israel, the media exploded with reports of a chemical weapons attack in syria. now, the american be ambassador to syria just said
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that there is no evidence to support that claim, a claim about which the white house yesterday expressed its deep skepticism. but a short time ago, a senior israeli official said it's apparently clear that chemical weapons were used. the bottom line is, we just don't know at this hour. and also troubling today, the king of jordan, a key u.s. ally and a country that shares the longest border with israel telling the associated press that islamic etrextremists are trying to create a jihadist state near the border. and ed henry is travelling with the president more from jerusalem. >> reporter: that's right, the stakes are enormous because the israeli government is worried that those syrian chemical weapons could wind up in the hands of al-qaeda, could wind up in the hands of hezbollah, could wind up being used against israeli people here in jerusalem and around israel and also a fear, as you
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mentioned that the civil war in syria could spread across the border into jordan where the government is shaky right now. the president realized that israel is a linchpin in the region to make sure that all of these violence doesn't explode, but the relationship, as you know, has been shaky between the u.s. and israeli government and the president since he arrived on air force one shows he's mending the relations when he saw president perez and said, good to see you brother, very informally and walking with president netanyahu on the tarmac in tel aviv and both took off their jackets as if they were two chums walking along the way and when the president earlier today would hold his news conference with president netanyahu made some statement with shimone peres. >> the state of israel will have no greater friend than the united states and the work we do make it more likely the children we saw today, alongside children throughout
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the region, have the opportunity for security and peace and prosperity. >> the greatest danger is a nuclear iran. so you said, so you do. we trust your policy which calls to first by nonmilitary to try by nonmilitary means with a clear statement that both options remain on the table. >> reporter: so the broader point is with all of the gestures, these statements, the talk at least is about the u.s. and israel coming together. the key for this news conference, with benjamin netanyahu and president obama, dealing with iran and egypt, let's not forget another part of the region, a muslim brotherhood government that is basically jumbled right now and what it means.
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>> megyn: i have a question in the meantime lead to tell the lady next to you to pipe down. she's talking too loudly, we can hear her through the microphone and we have business to do on the fox news channel. and earlier i stated incorrectly that the white house views this as a reset. in fact, the reports are that the white house views this as a reset, but the white house is trying to downplay that and trying to say, oh, no, no reset is necessary. so how does the white house characterize its goals for this meeting? >> reporter: well, it's a good question because repeatedly before this visit, and speaking to the u.s. and israelis officials, both sides say, look, all of this talk of tension between barack obama and prime minister netanyahu is overstated and they talk on the phone and call themselves by the first names and not as much tension as the media makes it out, but you know in fact there has been tension. and bottom line, there have been reports in the last
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couple of days, that one thing the president is going to do in the next 24 hours is speak to local students here in israel and not address the k knesset and maybe trying to go around the prime minister and speak to the people, and building a case for israel a make concessions and that you goes it's not as chummy as both sides think they do. >> megyn: you need to deliver your report like this, live from jerusalem, give her a taste of her own medicine. >> reporter: just trying to be polite. >> megyn: thank you, mr. henry. >> reporter: good to see you. >> megyn: it's irritating you can hear the other person in the background and do the reports at the same time and stand next to each other and trying to do a broadcast here. in any event, no one is watching the other channel, that's the thing and ed should get priority. well, here is the question, what is the next move here? this is an important meeting and there are high stakes with our relationship with israel.
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and joining me now to discuss some of what we've been hearing, lt. colonel ralph peters, a fox news strategic analyst and author of the new book "hell or richmond" and ralph, good to see you. i mean, when you think about the laundry list that you know, the mess in the middle east right now, and these two men, who despite their contentious relationship overall, have more in common than they do-- than drives them apart. how do they begin? where do they begin? >> well, not by using the word reset. because when obama resets something, it's a disaster and i have to say, megyn, i was fascinated and jarred when i heard president obama speak about our eternal friendship with israel and realized in washington eternal means until the 2014 election. but there are stakes here and to be fair, i think the president has undergonna real mental, perhaps even emotional shift. as we all know he came to
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office with a chip on his shoulder against israel. he had that chicago reverend wright background where israel is repressors and arabs were good freedom fighters especially the palestinians and heard in the cairo speech, but for the last four years, our president has been trying to deal with the fractious, often truculent arabs and now the palestinians, even though he is going to the west bank to meet with them tomorrow, the palestinians are complaining that he won't pay homage to the tomb of yasser arafat and i think to an extent our president may have finally realized that, yes, israel is our only friend and ally and by the way, the only truly civilized rule of law democracy in the entire region. and with, as he ed henry made clear, with all of these problems converging, syria, iran, perhaps instability growing in jordan, lebanon in danger of another civil war as christians and crowd into
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lebanon, israel is the only anchor of stability in the entire region and i think the president has finally figured it out. >> megyn: and you mention, you know, the controversy of the president's speech in cairo, all that time ago, and that remains controversial. the new york times reporting today that he is expected on this visit to try to redress what israelis regard as a few affronts that he committed in those remarks, including dwelling on the suffering of the palestinian people. i mean, this is -- he crossed some bridges there that he should not necessarily have crossed and so now here we are years later, and the president's trying to leave on a much better note this time he when he departs from israel. i want to focus for a moment on syria because now we're 24 hours past the reports of chemical weapons being used there and i outlined for the viewers how our united states officials seem to be saying no evidence of that as far as we can see and yet, an israeli, i
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think, interior minister came out today and said, they did it, yes. it happened. chemical weapons were used, we believe they were. and president obama had said that's a red line for the united states. so how do we resolve that and what do you think is really going on now in syria? >> megyn, thanks to president obama's neglect, which has been ma anythilignant not benig it's deteriorated to civil wars and near anarchy played into the hands of the worst elements of the muslim world and extremists so virulent that even the saudis are afraid of them. i think with the chemical weapons issues, i think you can say two things, unless there's massive use overnight, nothing's going to happen until obama leaves israel. the white house doesn't want anything to distract from the positive visuals and positive vibes of this trip. but obama did say there's a
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red line about the use of chemical weapons, but did not specify the penalties. where is the red line, let's say the israelis are right and there were chemicals, barely over the line, maybe chlorine gas, that's not nerve agents. i think that assad may have been testing the waters. if chemicals were used, you've got to watch if he's going to use them in the future as the situation grows increaselying desperate and feels he has nothing to do lose, but meanwhile for us and for the israelis, apart from the geopolitical mess and instability, the real and present danger is chemical weapons falling into the hands of islamist fanatics. we are apparently, i'm told, we're told, we're working on a plan to deal with that militarily if necessary, but if we have to, megyn, it's going to be ugly and tough and messy. >> megyn: and i wanted just to
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clarify so it was the israeli minister of intelligence and strategic affairs who says it's apparently clear that a chemical weapons were used in syria and that that alleged attack will be a main topic of conversation between those two leaders today. ralph stand by, i'd love to hear from you on the opposite side of this presser to get some context on what we're about to hear. if the israelis are saying that syria has crossed the red line and used chemical weapons on their own people, there's a question whether it was the government on the rebels or rebels on the government, that changes things. that changes things significantly for the united states and is this a test to see what the united states will do? can we get away with saying we don't believe it and what if it's not true. should we continue to say we don't believe it. they're meeting right now and told that the presser has been pushed back by ten minutes and hear them in ten minutes, 20, 25 after so we'll bring that
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to you and find out where the two men stand on the palestinian peace process, on iran, and its nuclear ambitions and on the growing and escalating civil war in syria that may wind up affecting us all. and also this as we told you moments ago, we are on verdict watch and told the jury has reached a verdict in bell, california after they had reached an impasse a while back. they were told that-- said that they were deadlocked. apparently they've made progress and you can see the anger from some earlier town hall meetings where the, you know, the city of bell, which is you know, not a rich city. they're struck by a lot of poverty and when they got wind of what the city officials were allegedly doing to them, fleecing them, getting paid for meetings they allegedly never had, work they allegedly never did, they deny it, but now we're going to get a verdict on the bell six. stay with us. needs...
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>> fox news alert. if you're just joining us, we are now awaiting a couple of news events. first of all, a news conference from jerusalem. president obama, prime minister netanyahu now about ten minutes away from their press conference, their joint press conference after an important meeting between the two men. so we will bring that to you as soon as it breaks live right here. we are also on verdict watch now in bell, california. a jury that was once said to be hopelessly deadlocked has now managed to reach a verdict in the case of the town officials accused of training public funds for their personal gain. there are eight city officials in all and six are on trial here. the other two, their actions said to be so egregious they got their own trials, but the prosecutors have been calling this city one that's been up-ended by a culture of corruption. do you remember these heated to
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townhall meetings from bell? they were outraged when they found out what some officials were paying themselves. six-figure salaries and hundreds of thousands they were supposed to get 8 grand for. 8. and a council or a commission they he might get an extra 8. they decided an extra 100 and prosecutors say they were a total sham. the jury has been deliberating for week and they actually kicked a juror off and said they were deadlocked and one juror said they're trying to pressure me and by the way, i did some internet on jury pressure, and that's a no-no, and the judge said, see ya. thanks for your service and replaced that juror and now it looks like they have a verdict. do you remember this case where there was one, john samson, our stage director reminded me, he's right. this is one of the e-mails that came out in this case was, hold on a second i want to get it for you here, where the person said we'll all get that together and--
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pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. here it is, this is introduced by the prosecution in this case. by one police chief, he's not on trial here today, but he wrote one e-mail in 2009 to the bell city administrator, the assistant. she's going to get her own trial, one of the two who gets a special trial and writes, i'm looking forward to seeing you and taking all of bell's money. and then he writes, okay, just a share of it. and then she respond, lol, well you can take your share of the pie just like us, we'll all get fat together. bob rizzo, the other one getting his own trial, has an expression he likes to use on occasion, pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. so long as we're not hogs, all is well. and what the jury is doing, right? six people who are on trial today. we'll find out why the jury has a difficult time reaching the decision, we hope, and what that decision ultimately
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is. there's a new demand today for answers from the tsa after an incident involving a disabled marine at phoenix sky harbor international airport. an active duty marine who lost both of his legs, left to fend for himself who gave him no help when they forced him to rehe move his prosecutthetic le. >> reporter: he was one of five marines recovering from war injuries at a san diego hospital and invited to phoenix to watch spring baseball training. and they were on sky harbor airport when it happened. an escort to the marines took the pictures a short time ago saying the man unidentified first order today remove his prosthetic legs and stand so the agents could inspect the wheelchair and other agents did not help and the escort sent this picture and others to california congressman, the republican duncan hunter.
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hunter in turn said this marine was humiliated and sent a letter to the tsa administrator and voting while i recognize the necessity to appropriately screen passengers i'm concerned by the apparent lack of situational awareness and respect among tsa officers, specifically when it comes to the treatment of the war wounded. now, ts acha say passengers wit prosthetics can be screened without removing them and we contacted tsa and they're pushing back and they reviewed the surveillance video and no prosthetic legs were removed and the screening was done by two military veterans, including a former marine who served for 18 years, going on to say the tsa works to facilitate the screening of injured and wounded service members with dignity and respect through its wounded warrior screening program. tsa strives to make the overall experience for wounded
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service members as simple and trouble-free as possible. remember, in his letter, duncan hunter said that he in fact had more pictures to this. and we asked for the other pictures, they wouldn't give them to us to protect the privacy of the marine, but the tsa says they may release that surveillance video so we can get to the bottom of this once and for. when we get it we'll show it to you. >> megyn: trace, thanks. up next a growing debate over the second amendment and the right to privacy after a father posts a picture of his son with a rifle ending up had his home raided by police and threatening to take his children away. kelly's court an early version next. >> they insisted on opening my safe and told him they wanted to run the serial numbers and catalog all the guns. ot. rv -- covered. why would you pay for a hotel? i never do. motorcycles -- check. atv. i ride those.
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>> kelly's court is back in session. on the docket a certified firearms instructor's home is raided after he posts one picture online of his son holding a rifle. this is the picture shaun moore put up on facebook and shows his 11-year-old son properly holding a rifle. the boy has a new jersey hunting license and recently passed the state's hunter safety course. but someone saw this photo and thought it was grounds to call family services. they showed up at moore's new jersey home, along with police, demanding to search his house. moore said think again. and he says they threatened to take his child away. joining me now to discuss it, lis wiehl, fox news legal analyst and jonna spilbor a former prosecutor and now defense attorney. >> this is crazy. >> megyn: can they do that? >> no, an absolute right under the fourth amendment free of
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search and seizure. they came late saturday night and knocked on the door and scared the wife. if you don't let us in and see your guns. they didn't seize the guns, go into the safe and see what's in the safe and we may take your child away. they didn't have a warrant and when they asked, you're not coming in without a warrant, they left and never came back which tells me they didn't have probable cause for the warrant. >> megyn: and here is shaun moore, the dad on fox and friends, sound bite number one talking about what they wanted to do. >> they wanted to go through the house and make sure that guns were not available to kids and once they went through the house they wanted into my safe and they wanted to run the serial numbers on all of my firearms and making sure they're all registered to me and catalog them. >> megyn: based on what, jonna? >> all right, very difficult to defend those acts, but let's look at what happened before that, megyn, because if somebody sees a picture of a kid with a gun on facebook, that's not like looking at a picture of a pack of puppies in a basket, okay? it's a kid with a gun.
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somebody picks up the phone and calls department of family and children's services and that department is obligated to call the police, whether it's right, wrong or indifferent, they're obligated to do that. once the police get there to investigate, did they go a little overboard in the house? probably, but come on, we don't know-- >> wait, wait. the father's n.r.a. certified-- >> if i call family services and i say at lis wiehl's house, a child's being abused not that that would ever happen. but if i do that they have an obligation to show up at lis wiehl's house, but this person would have called up lis and say look at the facebook photo. >> exactly. >> megyn: not like a division of child and family services didn't know what the complaint was based on. there is no crime committed here, no abuse being committed here. on what would the-- was the appearance that this man was based? >> there were no grounds, that's the point. there were no grounds at all. and that's why when push came to shove they left and didn't
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come back. and what happened, bad parents putting the photo out there. i got that, child protective services, have them come over, have a cup of tea, at some point, but to scare a family like this. >> megyn: i don't know, maybe you're judgment playing in there and judgment of some others. i don't know that's bad parenting. the father is a firearms instructor, he is certified firearms instructor, n.r.a. range safety officer, a hunter education structure and the child passed the safety course, the gun was legal. i don't see any reason on that photo for even the call to dps and-- >> and you can't tell the factor from the picture. anybody can call. anybody can call and say, look, there's a picture of a kid holding a gun and let's be real. we're all on edge because of sandy hook, because of james holmes, we're on edge when it comes to kids and guns. so the call was made.
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dfs has no other option. >> megyn: let me provide some fodder for you, jonna. looking at new jersey law, no person under the age of 18 and this child was 11, clearly under the age of 18 in the photo. shall possess, carry, or use a firearm except if he's in the actual presence or under the direct supervision of his father, et cetera or for the purposes of target and practice. the law is this kid cannot possess or carry the firearm unless he's within certain exceptions. and dps may have had an obligation to-- >> and assuming that father says, yeah, i took the picture, and he's under my supervision, and holding the gun and et cetera. that could have been explained 30 seconds over the phone. >> megyn: they went overboard. >> absolutely. >> megyn: by the way, you're looking and see the box on the
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right of the screen, we're live in jerusalem and that press conference is coming up in moments and take you there when it happens and we're on verdict watch in california and a lot is happening. kelly's court is going on and let now why the box is up on the screen. okay, i think we're all in agreement that maybe, maybe, d krchd dc dcps, when they show up there, and demand to see the inside-- to come inside the house and see the guns, get cereals numbers and look inside the safe, i mean, this is what the gun owners of america are afraid is going to happen to them. >> right. >> megyn: if gun control laws-- this plays into their worst fears about additional gun legislation. >> it's the worse example of that. talking fourth amendment search and seizure. and second amendment, gun ownership that played together he so beautifully in this case and jonna is right we're all
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on edge as a nation after the horrible events that doesn't mean you can flout the constitution. >> megyn: i've got to go because president obama, and we go live to jerusalem and listen to the meeting made between the two important leaders what they have to say about iran, palestine and our relations with one another. >> mr. president, barack, it's a great pleasure for me to host you here in jerusalem. you've graciously hosted me many times in washington so i'm very pleased to have the opportunity to reciprocate. and i hope the people of israel have already made you feel at home. >> very much so. >> we had an opportunity to today begin discussing the wide range of issues that are critical to both our countries and foremost among these is iran's relentless pursuit of
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nuclear weapons. mr. president, you've made it clear you're determined to prevent iran from developing nuclear welcomes. i appreciate your forthright position on this point. i also appreciated that you've noted, that you've acted to thwart this both through determined diplomacy and strong sanctions that are getting stronger yet. notwithstanding our joint efforts and your great success international community, diplomacy and sanctions so far have not stopped iran's nuclear program. and as you know, in order to stop iran's nuclear programs peacefully diplomacy must be with clear threat of military action. and mr. president, israel must be able to defend itself by itself against any threat.
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i deeply appreciate those words because they speak to the great transformation that has occurred in the life of the jewish people, with the rebirth of the jewish state. the jewish people only two generations ago were once a powerless people, defenseless against those who sought our destruction. today we have both the right and the capability to defend ourselves. as you said earlier today, the essence of the state of of israel, the essence of the rebirth of the jewish state is the fulfillment of the age-old dream of the jewish people to be masters of our fate in our own state. i think that was a wonderful line that i will cherish because it really gets down to the essence of what this state is about. that is why i know that and appreciate that israel can
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never cede the right to defend ourselves to others, even to the greatest of our friends and israel has no better friend than the united states of america. so i look forward to continuing to work with you to address what is an extension threat to israel and great threat to the peace and security of the world. mr. president, we discussed today the situation in syria. we share the goal of seeing a stable and peaceful syria emerge from the carnage that we have witnessed over the last two years. that carnage has already resulted in the deaths of over 70,000 people and the suffering of millions. we also share a determination to prevent the deadly arsenal of weapons within syria from falling into the hands of terrorist hands, and i have no doubt that the best way to do that is to work closely with the united states and other countries in the region to address this challenge and
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that is what we intend to do. finally, mr. president, your visit gave us an opportunity to try to find a way to advance peace between israelis and palestinians. my new government was sworn in two days ago. i know there have been questions regarding what the policy of the new government will be towards peace with the palestinians so let me be clear. israel remains fully committed to peace and to the solution of two states for two people. we extend our hands in peace and in friendship to the palestinian people. i hope that your visit, along with the visit of the secretary of state kerry, will help us turn a page in our relations with the palestinians. let us sit down at the negotiating table. let us put aside all pre conditions, let us work together to achieve the historic compromise that will
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end our conflict once and for all. let me conclude, mr. president, on a personal note. i know how valuable the time and the energies of the american president, of yourself. this is the 10th time we've met since you became president and i became prime minister. you've chosen israel as your first venue in your visit, your foreign visit in your second term. i want to thank you for the investment you have made in our relationship and in strengthening the friendship and alliance between our two countries. it is deeply, deeply appreciated. you have come here on the eve of passover. i've always considered it as our most cherished holiday. it celebrates the jewish people's passage from slavery to freedom. through the ages, it has also inspired people struggling for
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freedom, including the founding fathers of the united states. so it's a profound honor to host you, the leader of the free world, at this historic time in our ancient capital. mr. president, welcome to israel, welcome to jerusalem. >> thank you. [applause] >> well, thank you, prime minister netanyahu for your kind words and for your wonderful welcome here today and i want to express a special thanks to sarah, as well as your two sons, for their warm hospitality. it was wonderful to see them. they are -- i did inform the prime minister that they are very good looking young men who clearly got their looks from their mother. (laughter) >> well, i could say the same of your daughters. (laughter) >> this is true. our goal is to improve our gene pool by marrying women who are better than we are.
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mr. prime minister, i want to begin by congratulating you on the formation of your new government. in the united states we work hard to find agreement between our two major parties. here in israel you have to find consensus among many more. and few legislatures can compete with the intensity of the knesset, but all of this reflects the driving nature of israel's democracy. as bb mentioned this is our 10th meeting. we spent more time together working together than i have with any leader and this speaks to the closeness of our two nations. the interests and the values that we share and the depth and breadth of the ties between our two peoples. as leaders, our most solemn responsibility is the security of our people. that's job number one. my job as president of the united states, first and foremost, is to keep the american people safe. bb, as prime minister your
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first task is to keep the people of israel safe. and israel's needs are truly unique as i've seen myself. in past trips i've visited villages near the blue line. i've walked through israeli homes devastated by hezbollah rockets. i've stood and met with children who simply want to grow up free from fear. and flying in today i saw again how israel security can be measured in mere miles in minutes. as president, i've therefore made it clear, america's commitment to the security of the state of israel as a solemn obligation and the security of israel is nonnegotiatable. today our military and intelligence personnel cooperate more closely than ever before. we conduct more joint exercises and training than ever before. we're providing more security assistance and advanced technology to israel than ever
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before. and that includes more support for the missile defenses, like iron dome, which i saw today and which has saved so many israeli lives. in short, and i don't think this is just my opinion, i think you would share this, america's support for israel security is unprecedented in the alliance between our nation has never been stronger. that's the sturdy foundation we built on today as we addressed a range of shared cham challenges. >> as part of the long-term security the prime minister and i agreed on extending military assistance to israel and our current agreement lasts through 2017 and we've directed our teams to start working on extending it for the years beyond. i'm also pleased to announce that we will take steps to ensure that there's no interruption of funding for iron dome. as a result of decisions that i made last year, israel will receive approximately $200 million this fiscal year and
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we will continue to work with congress on future funding of iron dome. these are further reminders that we will help to preserve israel's qualitative military edge so israel can defend itself, by itself, against any threats. we also discussed the way forward to a two-state solution between israelis and palestinians and i very much welcomed bb's words before i folk. i'll be meeting with president abbas some and i will have more to say on this topic in the speech that i deliver to the israeli people tomorrow. for now let me just reiterate that a central element of a lasting peace must be a strong and secure jewish state where israel security concerns are met, alongside a sovereign and independent palestinian state. in this regard i note that last year was a milestone. the first year in four decades when not a single israeli
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citizen lost their life because of terrorism emanating from the west bank. it's a reminder that israel has a profound interest in a strong and effective palestinian authority. and as the prime minister's new government begins its work, will continue to look for steps that both israelis and palestinians can take to build trust and confidence upon which lasting peace will depend. we also reaffirm the importance of ensuring israel's security given the changes and uncertainty in the region. as the united states supports the egyptian people in their historic transition to democracy, we continue to underscore egypt contributing to regional security preventing hamas arming and upholding its peace treaty with israel. with respect to syria, the united states continues to work with allies and friends and the syrian opposition to hasten the end of assad's
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rule, to stop the violence against the syrian people and begin a transition toward a new government at that respects of rights of all its people. assad has lost his legitimacy to lead by attacking the syrian people with almost every conventional weapon in his arsenal, including scud missiles and we have been clear that the use of chemical weapons against the syrian people would be a serious and tragic mistake. we also share israel's grave concern about the transfer of chemical or other weapons systems to terrorists, such as hezbollah, that might be used against israel. the assad regime must understand that they will be held accountable for the use of chemical weapons or their transfer to terrorists. and finally, we continued our close consultation on iran. we agree that a nuclear-armed iran would be a threat to the region, a threat to the world and potentially an extensional
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threat to israel. we agree on the goal, we do not have a policy of containment for iran and the policy is to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear welcome. we prefer diplomatically. and there's still time to do so. iran has to understand they have to meet their international obligations and the community will continue to exert pressure on the government. and the united states will consult with israel on next steps and repeat all options are on the table and we will do what is necessary to prevent iran from getting the world's worst weapons. meeting none of these challenges will be easy, it will demand the same courage and resolve of those who preceded us. on friday i'll be honored to pay tribute to the leaders and
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soldiers who laid down their lives for israel and one of them was tony. in one of the letters he wrote to his family, don't forget, strength, justice, and staunch resolution are on our side and that is a great deal. mr. prime minister, like families across israel, you and your family have served and sacrificed for your country and passing safe and strong to your children just as it was passed on to you. standing here today i can say with confidence that israel's security is guaranteed because it has a great deal on its side including the unwavering support of the united states of america. [applaus [applause] >> first question, israel channel 2. >> mr. president, may i ask you about syria a practical
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question and moral one. for the last two years civilians are massacred and no one in the world, united states, doing anything to stop it immediately. on a practical level. just as today as in the past the use of chemical weapons would be crossing of the red line and it seems this line was crossed yesterday. what specifically do you intend to do about it? >> i'll answer to the question in reverse order, if you don't mind. i'll talk about the chemical weapons first and then the larger question. with respect to chemical weapons, we intend to investigate thoroughly exactly what happened. obviously, in syria right now you've got a war zone. you have information that's filtered out, but we have to make sure that we know exactly what happened, what was the
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nature of the incident, what can we document, and what can we prove. so i've instructed my teams to work closely with all of the countries in the region and international organizations and institutions to find out precisely whether or not this red line was crossed. i will note without at this point having all the facts before me that we know the syrian government has the capacity to carry out chemical weapon attacks. we know that there are those in the syrian government who have expressed a willingness to use chemical weapons, if necessary, to protect themselves. i ha i am deeply skeptical of any claim that it was in fact the opposition that used chemical weapons.
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everybody who knows the facts of the chemical weapons stock piles inside of syria, as well as the syrian government's capabilities, i think, would question those claims, but i know they're noting out there right now. the broader point is, is that once we establish the facts, i have made clear that the use of chemical weapons is a game changer and i won't make an announcement today about next steps because i think we have to gather the facts, but i do think that when you start seeing weapons that can cause potential devastation and mass casualties and you let that genie out of the bottle, that you are looking potentially at even more horrific scenes than we've already seen in syria. and the international
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community has to act on that additional information, but as is always the case when it comes to issues of war and peace, i think having the facts before you act is very important. more broadly, as i've said in my opening statement, i believe that the assad regime has lost all credibility and legitimacy. i think that assad must go and i think he will go. it's incorrect for you to say that we have done nothing. we have helped to mobilize the isolation of the assad regime internationally. we have supported and recognized the opposition. we have provided hundreds of millions of dollars in support for humanitarian aid. we have worked diligently with other countries of the region to provide additional tools to move towards a political transition within syria.
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if your suggestion is that i have not acted unilaterally militarily inside of syria, well, you know, the response has been -- or my response would be that to the extent possible, i want to make sure that we're working as an international community to deal with this problem. because i think it's a world problem, not simply a united states problem or an israel problem or a turkish problem. it's a world problem when tens of thousands of people are being slaughtered, including innocent women and children. e will continue to work in an international framework to try to bring about the kind of change that's necessary in syria. secretary kerry has been working nonstop since he came into his current position, to try to help mobilize and
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organize our overall efforts and we will continue to push every lever that we have to try to bring about a resolution inside of syria that respects the rights and the safety and security of all people, regardless of whatever sectarian lines currently divide syria. last point i'll make, which is probably obvious, is this is not easy. when you start seeing a war that has a sectarian elements to it and a government that's intent on maintaining power and you have mistrust that has broken out along sectarian lines, and you have an opposition that has not had the opportunity or time to organize itself, you know, both politically as well as
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militarily, that you know, you end up seeing some of the devastation you've been seeing and we are going to do everything we can to continue to prevent it and i know that the vast majority of our international partners feel the same way. >> from the white house press corps, from reuters. >> thank you. there was some friendly banter between you two gentlemen on the tarmac about red lines, and i'm wondering how much of a serious matter that actually came in your talks and will be in the talks -- your talks to come tonight? president obama has said it will take iran at least a year to build a bomb, that's months longer than the prime minister believes. mr. president, are you asking the prime minister to be more patient, to hold off for at least a year on any kind of reaction against iran? mr. prime minister, have president obama's words, have they convinced you that he is putting forth the credible military threat that you have
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repeatedly asked for and that-- or does he need to go further? thank you. >> why don't you take a first swing at this. >> well, first of all, i'm -- you know, there are so many strips of different colors on the tarmac that we -- we had a -- we did have a joke about that, but obviously, this matter is no joke. it relates to our very existence and to something also that the president correctly identified as a grave strategic threat to the united states and to the peace and security of the world. i'm absolutely convinced that the president is determined to prevent iran from getting nuclear weapons. i appreciate that. and i also appreciate something that he said, which i mention in my opening remarks, that the jewish people have come back to their own country to be the masters
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of their own faith and i appreciate the fact that the president has reaffirmed, more than any other president, israel's right and duty to defend itself by itself against any threat. we just heard those important words now and i think that sums up our, i'll say our common view. iran is a grave threat to israel, a grave threat to the world, a nuclear iran. the united states has committed to deal with it. israel is committed to deal with it. we have different vulnerabilities, obviously, different capabilities. we take that into account. but what we do maintain is the president, i think first to do so, is that israel has had a right to independently defend itself against any threat, including the iranian threat. >> i think the only thing i would add is that our
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intelligence cooperation on this issue, the consultation between our militaries, our intelligence is unprecedented, and that there is not a lot of light, a lot of of daylight between our countries' assessments in terms of where iran is right now. i think that what bb alluded to, which is absolutely correct is that each country has to make its own decisions when it comes to the awesome decision to engage in any kind of military action. and israel is differently situated than the united states, and i would not expect that the prime minister would make a decision about his country's security and defer
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that to any other country, any more than the united states would defer our decisions about what was important for our national security. i've shared with bb, as i've said to the entire world, as i've said to the iranian people and iranian leaders, i think there is time to resolve this issue diplomatically. the question is will iranian leadership seize that opportunity? will they walk through that door? and it would be in everybody's interest, not just israel's interest, not just the united states' interests, it would be in the interests of the iranian people if this gets resolved diplomatically because the truth of the matter is, is that the most permanent solution to the iranian situation is ultimately going to be their decision that it is not worth it for them to pursue nuclear
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weapons. that will be the last thing changed. if we can get that, that's good for everybody, including iran, because it would allow them to break out of the isolation that has hampered their society and their economic development for many years. but i don't know whether they're going to be willing to take that, take that step and obviously, their past behavior indicates that in the words of -- or a play on words of what ronald reagan said, we can't even trust yet much less verify. but we do have to test the proposition that this can be resolved diplomatically and if it can't, then i've repeat today bb what i've said publicly, we'll leave all options on the table
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